Course code GEO250

GEO250 Soil and geology in the landscape

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Mona Henriksen
Teachers: Jan Marten Huizenga, Christian Solheim, Danni Pearce, Line Tau Strand
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management
Teaching language: NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
The course starts in June block. The course has education and evaluation in June block.
Course frequency: Anually
First time: Study year 2022-2023
Preferential right:
Course contents:

The landscape around us has a great intrinsic value, at the same time knowledge of and interpretation of the landscape plays an important role in the development and prediction of sustainable ecosystem services. In this course, you will learn to see the connection between bedrock, loose deposits and soil so that you will be better able to make the right choices with regard to land use planning, land use, identification of geo-hazards and utilization of natural resources.

You learn to use different types of maps, geographical information system for mapping landforms, loose deposits and soil. In the field, you will learn to identify and map till, glacial, marine and fluvial deposits, probe in loose material combined with georadar and describe and interpret sediment sections. You will learn to map and describe some typical soils and sampling them and perform some simple soil analyzes. You will be introduced to international terminology and soil classification systems. You will also learn to interpret the connection between bedrock, mineralogy, soil and important soil properties and how external influences such as climate, topography, living organisms and time regulate these.

The course begins with academic preparation at NMBU and then you will, in a group, conduct field investigations in a small area in a lowland area in Eastern Norway. Mapping of soil, loose deposits and landforms is combined with descriptions and sampling - and the connection with the underlying bedrock is investigated. Some simple laboratory analyzes are performed. Furthermore, variations in mountain and fjord landscapes will be investigated on trips to Western Norway, with field surveys in recent glacial areas.

The results of field and laboratory investigations are compiled and presented in groups in a poster and report that will contain a description of the areas and an interpretation of the Quaternary and soil-forming processes that have shaped the landscape we have today.

Learning outcome:

Knowledge: After completing the course, you should be able to recognize some of the most important types of loose deposits and soils in the field. You should be able to describe the processes that have formed common soils, loose materials and landforms in Norway, and the significance of the bedrock and mineralogy in these processes.

Skills: After completing the course, you should be able to map soils, loose deposits and landforms, assess their distribution and characterize the properties using different field techniques. You must be able to perform a complete soil profile description and sample soil for chemical and physical analyzes necessary to be able to classify these according to an international soil classification system. You should be able to combine maps with other collected field data and give an interpretation of the processes that formed these soils, the loose deposits and the landscape in which they occur, as well as their significance in different land uses and for geo-hazards. You should also be able to reconstruct changes in the depositional environment.

General competence: After completing the course, you should be able to plan and perform a project with practical fieldwork where Quaternary geology and soil are central. You should also have gained experience and skills in collaboration in a small group with everything from the distribution of work tasks in the field to discussion and presentation of results, orally and in writing (lectures, poster and report).

Learning activities:
Exercises, fieldwork, and laboratory work (in groups), demonstrations and lectures. Oral presentation of results. Making of poster and report includes design of figures and maps, statistical processing of simple data, and setup of references.
Articles and other resources
JORD100 and GEO210 or similar.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Submission of a case

Portfolio assessment

  • Poster 60%
  • Report 40%

Both parts must be passed to pass the course.

Grading system: Passed/Not passed

Nominal workload:
125 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse).
Reduction of credits:
3 ECTS against GEO211.
External censor will evaluate the reports and course content.
Examination details: Portfolio assessment: Passed / Not Passed